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Carnegie Hall Announces the Musicians Selected for 2016 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

Created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, Prestigious National Program Recognizes Finest Young Musicians from Across the Country, Ages 16-19

This Summer, Musicians of NYO-USA Work with Renowned Conductors Christoph Eschenbach and Valery Gergiev, Collaborating with Pianists Emanuel Ax and Denis Matsuev with Performances in New York, Amsterdam, Montpellier, Copenhagen, and Prague

New NYO2 Program Brings Talented Young Musicians Ages 14-17 Together with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Conductor Giancarlo Guerrero

(March 8, 2016; NEW YORK, NY)—Carnegie Hall today announced the names of the 109 outstanding young musicians selected from across the country for the fourth annual National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). The members of the 2016 orchestra—ages 16-19, hailing from 32 US states—have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest players in the country following a comprehensive and highly competitive audition process. This summer’s NYO-USA will feature 38 returning musicians. The program is free for all participants.

See below or click here for the names, instruments, and hometowns of the members of the 2016 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

In 2016, NYO-USA performs under two renowned conductors: Christoph Eschenbach and Valery Gergiev. Mr. Eschenbach will lead the orchestra in a program to include Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat Major, K. 482 featuring acclaimed pianist Emanuel Ax as soloist alongside Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6 in A Major at the Performing Arts Center in Purchase, NY (July 13) and at Carnegie Hall in New York City (July 14). Tickets for the Carnegie Hall performance are on sale now at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or at carnegiehall.org.

Following their New York appearances, the NYO-USA musicians will fly to Europe, joining Mr. Gergiev and esteemed pianist Denis Matsuev for a tour of some of the continent’s music capitals, including performances at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Holland (July 21), part of Robeco SummerNights at the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam; the Opéra Berlioz in Montpellier, France (July 22), part of the Radio France Festival; Tivoli Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark (July 24), part of the Tivoli Festival; and Smetana Hall in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic (July 25). The orchestra’s European tour repertoire will feature Debussy’s Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune; Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (Amsterdam, Montpellier, Copenhagen); Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, “Italian” (Prague only); and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 4. NYO-USA’s July 21 concert at the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam will be streamed live online for free by medici.tv.

NYO-USA’s touring activities will allow America’s finest young musicians to share their artistry with American and European audiences while also experiencing the richness of European culture and music. As part of their travel schedule, NYO-USA players will have the opportunity to tour cities, interact with local young musicians, and participate in informal community performances.

“With each successive year of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, the quality and level of playing among applicants has grown higher and higher,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “The musicians who make up NYO-USA’s 2016 roster are truly among the very best. We are excited to embark on another wonderful summer of music-making, with these young artists serving as great musical ambassadors for the US as we travel abroad.”

NYO-USA musicians will arrive in New York in late June 2016 to begin an intensive three-week training residency on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York, working with principal players from some of the country’s finest professional orchestras. James Ross, director of orchestral activities at the University of Maryland, returns to lead the NYO-USA faculty for a fourth year. The faculty will oversee rehearsals during the orchestra’s residency in Purchase and will also lead master classes, chamber music readings, and other seminars on essential music skills, all leading up to the launch of NYO-USA’s annual tour.

For the first time, two young musicians have been selected as apprentice composers for NYO-USA. During the Purchase residency, they will have the opportunity to have their music workshopped with musicians from the orchestra, providing experience with orchestration and writing for larger forces and creating opportunities for dialogue between instrumentalists and composers who are peers. Celebrated American composer Sean Shepherd (whose work Magiya was commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the inaugural NYO-USA in 2013) will serve as mentor and teacher for the young composers. The apprentice composers join an apprentice orchestra manager, apprentice librarian, and two apprentice conductors as members of the 2016 NYO-USA.

In addition, the summer of 2016 will see the launch of NYO2, a new intensive training program for talented young musicians, ages 14–17, with a special focus on those from communities underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field. Run in conjunction with NYO-USA’s annual summer residency at Purchase College, State University of New York, NYO2 aims to expand the pool of young musicians across the country equipped with the tools to succeed at the highest level, particularly those who will bring greater diversity to classical orchestral music or those who have not had access to highly selective training opportunities.

As a central part of this free program, NYO2 participants will have the opportunity to work closely with select members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. NYO2’s 2016 season will culminate with the young musicians performing in an exciting side-by-side performance in Philadelphia with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra on July 2. Further details, including an NYO2 roster, will be announced in April 2016.

2016 Orchestra Roster
* Returning NYO-USA member

Justin Kang, Timpani/Percussion (Gilbert)
Bobby Nunes, Oboe (Mesa) *


Eric Meincke, Apprentice Conductor (Little Rock)


Elena Ariza, Cello (Cupertino)
Jonathan Chu, Violin (San Francisco)
Andrew Lee, Violin (Los Altos Hills)

Minku Lee, Cello

(Palo Alto) *
Jamie Pfauth, Horn

(San Diego)

Connor Rowe, Trombone (Lompoc)
Jay Shankar, Clarinet

(San Diego)



Jessica Shand, Flute

(Colorado Springs)


Annabel Chyung, Violin

(Miami) *

Marco A. Gómez, Bass Trombone


Alejandro Lombo, Flute

(Miramar) *

Elias Medina-Brewster, Oboe


David Norville, Oboe

(Fort Myers)

Jimmy Qin, Cello

(Lake Mary)

Emma Shaw, Horn


Kevonna S. Shuford, Viola

(West Palm Beach)




Emma DeJarnette, Viola


James Kang, Viola


Nick Pelletier, Viola

(Duluth) *

Anna Black, Violin (Eagle)


Kayla Cabrera, Viola


Alec Mawrence, Tuba (Northbrook)

Charles Stuedemann, Trumpet

Lucie Ticho, Cello


James Vaughen, Trumpet (Champaign) *



Travon DeLeon, Violin

(South Bend)


Nina Bernat, Bass

(Iowa City)

Akshay Dinakar, Violin (Prairie Village) *
Dana Rath, Cello (Lawrence)
Emily Shehi, Violin (Olathe)


Seoyeon Kim, Violin (Falmouth) *
Nicholas Kim, Violin (Clarksville)
Ethan Shrier, Trombone (Potomac) *


Reuben Stern, Bassoon (Needham) *


Sara Han, Clarinet (Interlochen) *
Elisabeth Pesavento, Horn



Sarrah Bushara, Oboe

(Eden Prairie) *

Jamie Gorski, Trumpet (Little Canada)
Lydia Grimes, Viola (Shoreview)


Ryan Wahidi, Bass (Creve Coeur) *
Rosie Weiss, Violin (Billings) *
Corbin Krebs, Bassoon (Las Vegas) *
Paul Novak, Apprentice Composer (Reno)


New Jersey

Mikaela Chang, Apprentice Orchestra Manager

Omar El-Abidin, Timpani/Percussion (Wall)
Simon Housner, Cello (Cherry Hill)
Andrew Hughes, Viola (Old Tappan)

David Kim, Cello

(East Brunswick) *
Daniel Kim, Clarinet (Skillman)
Soyeong Park, Violin (Princeton Junction) *
Timothy Ruszala, Bassoon (Fairfield)
Samuel Wang, Violin (Medford) *
Ryan Zhang, Apprentice Conductor (West Windsor)
New York

Taylor Abbitt, Bass

(Ballston Lake) *
Ryan Chung, Cello (Manhasset)
Elizabeth Egan, Apprentice Composer (New York)

Michael Gabriel, Bass

Sean Juhl, Viola (New York)

Sae Rheen Kim, Viola

(New York)
Faith Pak, Viola (Auburndale) *
Michael Stevens, Horn (East Islip) *
William Swett, Bass (New York)

Alan Yao, Violin

Elizabeth Yeoh-Wang, Harp (New York)

North Carolina

Ella Sharpe, Bass (Winston-Salem)
Emilia Sharpe, Violin (Winston-Salem)



Marguerite Cox, Bass

(Hudson) *
Joshua Elmore, Bassoon (Shaker Heights) *
Claire Geho, Violin (Twinsburg)

Henry Shapard, Cello

(Cleveland Heights) *
Chad Wesselkamper, Bass (Cincinnati) *
Joseph Bates, Violin (Tulsa)
Ben Lanners, Cello (Stillwater) *
Fumika Mizuno, Violin (Portland) *

Sein An, Violin

(West Chester) *
Julie Choe, Violin


Jim Cunningham IV, Viola (Pittsburgh)
Neil Goh, Violin (North Wales) *
Cheyenne J. King, Violin (Philadelphia)
Ziqi Meng, Violin (Pittsburgh)
Devin Moore, Violin (Pittsburgh)
Jason Vassiliou, Violin (Berwyn) *
Elizabeth Geena Woo, Viola (Radnor)
Joy Zhao, Cello (Chalfont)

Rhode Island

William Yao, Violin (Barrington) *
South Carolina

Katherine Woo, Violin

David Bender, Cello (Nashville)
Chloe Harvel, Violin (Brentwood)
Hannah Burnett, Viola (Waco) *
Harry Dearman, Bass (Denton)
Jonathan Jalbert, Clarinet (Houston)

Nitish Jindal, Timpani/Percussion

Evan Jose, Timpani/Percussion (San Antonio)
Ethan Le, Violin (Katy)
Patrick Magee, Orchestral Keyboard (Dallas)
Adam Phan, Harp (Dallas) *

Ethan Russo, Apprentice Librarian

Mei Stone, Flute (Waco) *
Megan Wade, Trumpet (Friendswood)
David Horak, Violin (Norwich)
Andrew Angelos, Horn (Seattle) *
Evan Falls Hjort, Violin (Fall City) *
Bronwyn James, Violin (Seattle) *
Evan Johanson, Violin (Seattle) *
Elise Kim, Flute (Mukilteo)
Daniel Miles, Viola (Puyallup)

NYO-USA Tour—Summer 2016

July 13 Purchase, NY The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, SUNY
July 14 New York, NY Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
July 21 Amsterdam Robeco SummerNights at the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam
July 22 Montpellier Radio France Festival; Opéra Berlioz
July 24 Copenhagen Tivoli Festival; Tivoli Hall
July 25 Prague Smetana Hall


About the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America
Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the finest young musicians from across the country (ages 16-19) to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Following a comprehensive audition process and a two-week training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York, with faculty made up of principal players from top professional orchestras, these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, serving as America’s dynamic music ambassadors.

Launched in summer 2013 to great acclaim, the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the USA presented concerts with conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell to enthusiastic audiences at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC; St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia; and at the BBC Proms in London. The 2014 orchestra, led by American conductor David Robertson with violinist Gil Shaham as soloist, made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City, followed by a coast-to-coast US tour to Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts; Boone, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Sonoma County, California; and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. In 2015, NYO-USA, with conductor Charles Dutoit and pianist YUNDI, made its debut in China, performing at some of the country’s greatest concert halls in many regions of the country, including concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi’an, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.

In summer 2017, NYO-USA will make its debut in South America, performing under the baton of conductor Marin Alsop. 

* * * * *

Founder Patrons: Blavatnik Family Foundation; Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation; Ronald O. Perelman; Robertson Foundation; Beatrice Santo Domingo; Robert F. Smith; Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation.

Additional funding has been provided by the Jack Benny Family Foundation for Music Education; and Andrew and Margaret Paul.

Leadership support for NYO2 is provided by Beatrice Santo Domingo.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.


To learn more about NYO-USA, visit carnegiehall.org/nyousa.
Like NYO-USA on Facebook at facebook.com/nyousa.
Follow NYO-USA on Twitter at #NYOUSA.
See more from NYO-USA on YouTube at youtube.com/nyousa.


Image at the top of release courtesy of Carnegie Hall


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